by ANALICIA TORRES
Today, death is everywhere. It is in the newspapers written as clean obituaries to sum up a person’s life; it is streamed in the media with breaking news of recent tragedies that, after so many, no longer seem tragic to outsiders; it is clinging to the shadows all around us and looming in the darkest corridors of our minds as an ever-present reminder that no matter what we do, there is always one outcome: Death.
In movies and TV shows, they always portray the concept of death as a life-sucking end to a bottomless pit. Directors use the screams of edited agony to show us something they will never be able to fully capture. No matter how many Oscars these actors and actresses win, how many Golden Globes these directors score, they will never capture what if truly feels like to lose someone and still reach everyone in their audience. The dramatized stages of grief, denial, shock, numbness and anger are indeed very real, and unfortunately many people experience them. But they are different for everyone.
In the new year of 2018, many of us pray to a god we may or may not believe in to bring us material things— money, fame, power, a new flat screen, etc. But for some the new year comes with one truly terrifying realization: life is shorter than you think. We can dance until our legs give out and drink until we pass out, all in the name of “YOLO” and “getting the most out of life,” but in the end, you only have one life to live and how you spend it is up to you.
If you read this or not, I do not care. If you heed this or not, I do. Life is too short to go on thinking we are invincible beings who will live forever. This doesn’t mean live your life in fear, but it also doesn’t mean for you to go out and try to be like everyone else by making a shot at fame. The saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” has always been redundant and meaningless to me. Life, no matter how safe we play it or how wild we ride it, is an unpredictable line of chaos. Don’t spend your days mewling over regrets. Utilize the time you have because you never know when it will end. Don’t waste your time fuming over enemies because in the end, they can never take away who you know you are as a person. They too are meaningless. So here is a new saying for you:
Keep your loved ones close and your heart always open.
You never know when it will stop.
Rest in Peace Stephen Jackel & Frankie Ruiz.
Forever in our hearts.